One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.
Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…
Nothing will ever be the same again.
Disclaimers: We received a digital copy of this book via NetGalley courtesy of the publisher (Gollancz, a division of the Orion Publishing Group). This review may contain some things you consider to be spoilers for both the book in question and the books that came before it. You have been warned.
Why we chose it: We like us some Elena and Raphael. These books are a guilty pleasure of sorts.
Review: Opening up Archangel’s Heart was a different experience to any of the previous books in the series and there are eight of them so we have to commend Nalini Singh for making something familiar seem fresh and new.
We were greeted with a prologue that felt mysterious and wonderful and it was evident that this prologue wasn’t going to be some seemingly throwaway piece of information that wouldn’t become important until much later in the novel. Instead it was the cornerstone of the entire plot and we really loved it.
Secrets and angel wings are totally our thing.
Discovering more of Elena’s past, the past of her family was an interesting thing to explore. Pairing that up with angelic politics and the personal growth of multiple characters was great. It really made more good storytelling and while we predicted some of the twists and turns, there were some things that we expected to happen that just didn’t. We definitely appreciated that.
Let’s talk about Aodhan. Let’s talk about how much we love Aodhan and how far he’s come in the time since we were first introduced to his character. No longer is he a fragile beauty who glitters in the sky, but finally he is once again and highly capable and dangerous member of the Seven. We never saw him as a warrior or as someone other than Illium’s best friend who’d had some really awful things happen to him. And that’s because he wasn’t. He was quiet. He was reserved. He avoided most physical contact. In Archangel’s Heart he is still quiet and reserved and against most physical contact, but through Elena we got to see the humour and intelligence and kindness beneath it all.
(That was such a clever way to link back to our main character, wasn’t it?)
Another thing that was different about Archangel’s Heart was how very Elena and Raphael focused it was. In recent Guild Hunter books the story has branched out into the lives of Dmitri and Honor, Ashwini and Janvier and a whole host of others that have proved for an intriguing narrative. Occasionally chapters focused on Elena and her Archangel lover, but otherwise they became a sort of background feature.
In this story, it’s all about the original couple and they’re just excellent.
It’s important to note and this point that sex scenes really took a backseat to the mystery for our characters here and we’re okay with that because we think if there had been many, they would have forced. We like how Nalini Singh focused on the stabby, stabby and whodunit instead.
Being introduced to the Luminata raised a so many red flags in our mind that we’re surprised alarm bells didn’t suddenly go off. Having read so many books where there are secretive and powerful organisations we just knew that they weren’t going to be good.
Elena spent a great deal of the book uncovering secrets and learning what was really happening in the Luminata compound and how it and the town beside it tied into her family history. We don’t want to spoil, so we’ll just say that everything she discovered and everything we discovered through her helped to further bring all the information we have on her into a clearer light.
We constantly enjoy how secure Elena is in her relationship with Raphael, how she doesn’t complain about having a plain face or how she simply can’t believe she could be the one for him. It’s a rarity in romances featured in New Adult books and that’s a shame. Elena knows who she is and what she is and she’s comfortable with it. Plus, she’s pretty handy with a crossbow.
To conclude, Archangel’s Heart was a really great instalment in the series. It had elements of mystery and action and we were so pleased to get back inside Elena’s mind because it works in such a wonderful way. Violence is always a viable option for her and we like it so very much. Guild Hunter novels always leave us wanting for more and this one was no different in that respect. Nalini Singh should get a medal because we love her urban fantasy books and we don’t think that’s ever going to stop.
THANK YOU FOR READING OUR REVIEW! Who do you want to see more of in the next book? Would you like to visit the lands of Michaela like we do or do you want a story focused on wicked, yet neglected Venom? An Ilium and Aodhan romance?Or Illium and Aodhan finding other partners? Please let us know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on:
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Arkon, Annie and a creator.